2009 Hybrid Cars Year in Review HybridCars com

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will be the most important hybrid car developments? The biggest are the release of the third-generation Prius and the of the Honda Insight. Both are well-priced options for mainstream car We will also see the first introductions from Mercedes and and improved vehicles from and Honda.

By the end of the year, new plug-in and all-electric vehicles will debuts—although as niche offerings.

Beat Overall Market by Flat

Despite tough times and a shrinking US vehicle demand for hybrids continues to the overall market. We expect the market to defy the gravity of a in 2009.

Hybrid sales—as a percentage of all new car likely to remain flat 2008 levels at about 2.5 But considering the overall car market is in 2009, the total number of sales will drop to 250,000. The Toyota Prius third-generation version that in January—will continue to be the biggest but will be joined by the 2010 Insight.

Honda has a US sales of 100,000 units per year, but have difficulty reaching number. The remaining sales come from a field of that will grow 15 models in late 2008 to 20—including Ford s first sedans, the first hybrid Mercedes, and a dedicated hybrid-only from Lexus. The two-mode hybrid version of the Saturn Vue SUV was put on the shelf as GM sold off the brand in its

Battle of the Hybrid Titans

The two hybrids to hit the US market back in 1999/early 2000, were the and Prius. Well, it’s to the future. Nine years these two hybrid titans once again dominate, the Prius will remain the seller.

The new Toyota Prius was at the Detroit auto show in 2009. The third generation is be bigger and more powerful. The grew from 1.5 liters to 1.8 a boost in horsepower from 110 to the body is be three to four longer and about an inch

The combined US fuel economy is 50 mpg, by keeping the weight to current levels and re-engineering the to extend the range of all-electric driving.

The next Prius does not plug-in capabilities and continues to use metal hydride batteries, than switching to lithium ion

In the spring, Honda began its revitalized Honda Insight—perfectly several thousand dollars the Prius. At $20,000, the 2010 Insight is be the most affordable vehicle on the market.

The new Honda is more practical than the Insight. It’s a five-door with ample room for passengers. The aerodynamic design elements from Honda’s FCX fuel cell vehicle, and resemblance to the Toyota Prius’s hatchback profile.

Honda is pinning its hybrid on the Insight—and plans to follow in years with a Honda hybrid and perhaps a Honda Fit

Upgrades for 2009 Hybrid Year

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The 2009 Ford Hybrid s engine grew 2.3 liters to 2.5. The vehicle its lead position for SUV fuel

2009 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic, including the version, gets a sportier with three larger air new high-tech features for 2009. The bumper cover and grille are angular. Inside, the hybrid optional leather-trimmed seats, as as heated fronts seats and mirrors.

A bluetooth-ready navigation and USB audio interface are also

2009 Ford Escape and 2009 Mercury Mariner

For 2009, the Ford Escape replaces a 2.3-liter engine a 2.5—boosting net horsepower from 155 to Ford engineers refined the hybrid’s braking system to for better traction and stability and a smoother feel to the brakes, not incorporated into the hybrid Noise and vibrations have reduced in the process. This is evident when the engine off and the vehicle moves into mode. A 110-volt AC power now comes standard.

The Mercury Hybrid receives the Sync phone and music system as equipment.

2009 Chevrolet Hybrid

For 2009, the Malibu is rated at 26 city and 34 highway—meaning a healthier 4-mpg boost the base-level Malibu. The previous Hybrid only managed a gain. The combined fuel in our road text was 29.8 per gallon. (Unfortunately, the Malibu was victim of GM s bankruptcy.)

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